Train users and interns in computing at NCAR

Through face-to-face and online training classes and workshops, CISL helps prepare students, postdocs, early-career scientists, and more experienced users to investigate questions in the Earth System sciences using its high-performance computing systems and cyberinfrastructure. CISL delivers this content synchronously through workshops, webcasts, and training classes, and asynchronously through its website. CISL uses these learning opportunities to reach out and inspire new generations of computational geoscientists and enhance the skills of atmospheric researchers in support of its strategic imperative to train the scientific community. CISL facilitates and speeds users’ achievement of their scientific objectives, and makes production of scientific results more efficient, by teaching students and faculty to use its advanced cyberinfrastructure effectively. The lab’s community development and training efforts also focus on outreach to potential users, particularly those from underrepresented groups.

CISL instructors provided training classes in high-performance computing to approximately 400 local and national HPC users in FY2017. CISL’s Consulting Services Group and other User Services Section (USS) staff, for example, presented or facilitated the following courses and seminars: Introduction to Cheyenne (three classes and webcasts); Introduction to NCAR HPC Systems; Intel Parallel Studio; a debugging and optimization workshop; the Modern Fortran Workshop Series (four classes); Fortran for Experienced Programmers; and Spark and Tensorflow for Scientific Data at Scale. USS also provided 136 supercomputer authentication tokens for participants in colloquia, tutorials, and classes at NCAR and the University of Colorado in Boulder; the University of California, Davis; the University of Arizona; and the University of Washington. USS staff also supported NCAR training events that were delivered by other groups and labs, including the Community Earth System Model (CESM) Tutorial and the Advanced Study Program Summer Colloquium.

CISL’s Visualization and Analysis Software Team (VAST) team hosted two NCL workshops in Boulder and gave NCL, Python, and WRF training sessions at a WRF Users Event, reaching 110 students. The team also gave a VAPOR tutorial at the Korean Supercomputing Conference in Seoul and co-taught a multi-day NCL workshop, hosted by DKRZ in Hamburg, to 30 students from various research centers in Germany. VAST also provides a series of online video tutorials to help researchers master their use of the VAPOR platform. These include the VAPOR Tutorial Introduction, Direct Volume Rendering, Rendering Isosurfaces, Flow Lines and 2D Probes, and the VAPOR SeedMe Tutorial.

VAPOR user interface
This video frame is from an online CISL demonstration of how to use the Visualization and Analysis Platform for Ocean, Atmosphere, and Solar Researchers (VAPOR). VAPOR provides an interactive 3D visualization environment that can also produce animations and still-frame images. VAPOR enables scientists to analyze large 3D data sets and share the results of their research through revealing imagery.


CISL further leverages its participation in the national XSEDE cyberinfrastructure to expand the training opportunities available to users by cross-posting XSEDE training opportunities on CISL’s website and in the CISL Daily Bulletin. CISL has also served as a satellite site for select events in the XSEDE HPC Monthly Workshop Series.

CISL’s education imperative for workforce training and development is supported by NSF Core funding.